April 27, 2023
The day of the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft is finally here. In case you missed our final seven-round Eagles-only mock draft or my lone full first-round mock draft, be sure to check those out.
Earlier today, we took a look at who the local guys are projecting to the Eagles in the first round. Here's who the national guys are predicting, submitted without commentary of my own.
Pick 10: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas: The Eagles might prefer to trade back, but why not take an elite runner/receiver who could help them win now? It might go against the organization's philosophy to take a running back this high, but the fit is logical, whether it's at No. 10 or a few spots later. If it's not Robinson, I thought about tackle/guard Peter Skoronski (Northwestern).
Pick 30: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh: This is a fit I've liked for a long time. Kancey can wreck games from the interior line, and NFL teams covet that type of player. He's so quick at the snap. He's undersized -- 6-foot-1, 281 pounds -- but he had 13.5 sacks over the past two seasons. He'd fill a hole in Philly.
Pick 10: Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia: The Eagles are an interesting team at the back end of the top 10. I could see a trade back happening, maybe connected to Bijan Robinson. I could see them targeting an offensive lineman here. I could see a powerful edge rusher like Iowa's Lukas Van Ness being in play, too. But I ultimately went with Smith, who has terrific speed and suddenness off the edge. He actually reminds me quite a bit of Haason Reddick, who turned in 16 sacks for Philadelphia last season. With the defensive line aging, Smith could have an immediate impact both as a pass-rusher and run defender.
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Pick 30: Brian Branch, S, Alabama: We went with an edge rusher at No. 10, and I think Philly could stay on defense with its second first-rounder. Adding a defensive tackle like Clemson's Bryan Bresee or Wisconsin's Keeanu Benton fits with how the Eagles build their roster, but what about the versatility and diverse toolbox of Branch in the secondary? The Eagles lost C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps (but signed Terrell Edmunds), and they could benefit with someone like Branch who can play nickel or safety and help in coverage, against the run and even as a blitzer.
Pick 10: Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia: The Eagles invested in Georgia defenders last year, drafting Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean. They come back for another former Bulldog in Smith.
Pick 30: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama: I haven’t given up on my dream of Philadelphia taking Bijan Robinson if he’s available at No. 10, but this is not a bad consolation prize. Gibbs has been gaining a lot of steam late in the process, and I’ll be surprised if he’s not a first-round pick.
Pick 10: Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern: The Eagles stay put and still get one of the top offensive linemen in the draft. Stoutland U gets another 'A' student.
Pick 30: Joey Porter, Jr., CB, Penn State: Porter Jr. could go in the top 20. With a run on other positions in this simulation, he's still on the board here for Philly. The rich get richer.
Pick 8 (trade with the Falcons): Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia: The Eagles move ahead of the Bears in order to secure Carter, who will come into a locker room with mentors and confidants from Georgia in Nakobe Dean and Jordan Davis to help him focus and get ready to take over a starting role at defensive tackle in short order.
Pick 30: Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse: Bergeron was a starting tackle at Syracuse, but it wouldn't surprise me if the Eagles see him as a plus run blocker with the ability to become a full-time starter at right guard, ultimately allowing 2022 second-round pick Cam Jurgens to kick inside to center after the 2023 season.
Pick 10: Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson: The Eagles do not mind investing in front-line personnel in the first round. Murphy adds another athletic pass rusher to a deep, talented rotation that wears opponents down over 60 minutes.
Pick 30: Keion White, DL, Georgia Tech: The Eagles add a combo defender with inside-outside playmaking ability at the line of scrimmage. White can man multiple positions along the defensive front and should fit well within Philly's blue-collar pass-rush rotation.
Pick 10: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas: One of the top three players in this year's draft, the Eagles continue to pump up their super-powered offense with this do-everything weapon.
Pick 30: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh: With Fletcher Cox playing on a one-year deal, the Eagles take the speedy Kancey, who will immediately provide pressure up the middle and eventually take on a bigger role.
Pick 10: Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State: "Trader" Howie Roseman certainly could move down ... or maybe up to leapfrog Chicago for Jalen Carter? Everything is on the table. The Eagles have the freedom to target specific players with how loaded they are. But here, they land a gifted, long, smart blocker with positional versatility in Johnson, who could challenge Cam Jurgens for the starting right guard spot this year and eventually be Lane Johnson's replacement at right tackle.
Pick 30: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson: Bresee’s medical evaluation (ACL tear in Sept. 2021 and shoulder surgery in Jan. 2022) will hold the key to his ultimate landing spot; he could potentially go 15 picks higher than this, or 15 lower. The Eagles lost Javon Hargrave and his 11 sacks in free agency, and 2023 could be Fletcher Cox’s final season with the team. Philadelphia will likely look to add to the D-line early. And, as always, moving up or down is in play with this team.
Pick 10: Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern: Though there is a good chance this pick addresses the Eagles’ defensive line, the draft’s depth stretches there more than it does among the offensive line. Skoronski would be a plug-and-play right guard and the long-term answer at right tackle.
Pick 30: Adetomiwa Adebawore, DT, Northwestern: This would complete the “All-Northwestern” first-round for the Eagles. Though I do think it is unlikely that Philadelphia stays put at both No. 10 and No. 30, Adebawore would be a tough player to trade away from because he hits a lot of notes that would appeal to Howie Roseman.
Pick 10: Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia: Came very close to giving the Eagles Peter Skoronski here, but two things happened Sunday. A GM who’s always smart when I do this exercise told me he knew the Eagles love Smith. And someone else told me Skoronski’s very likely to play guard, and check out where the Eagles have drafted starting guards, or guards-to-be. Okay. Cam Jurgens, Landon Dickerson, Isaac Seumalo went 51st, 37th and 79th overall, respectively. And then I looked at the ages of the Eagles’ four most prominent ends or edge players: Brandon Graham, Haason Reddick, Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat average 29 years, 7 months old as of September. Okay. I talked myself into a 238-pound edge player who runs a 4.39 40-yard dash.
Pick 30: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama: Might not be just the poor man’s Bijan Robinson. With 195 touches in his one year at Alabama, Gibbs averaged 6.1 yards per rush and 10.1 yards per catch, never fumbling. As good as Robinson was as a collegian, Gibbs has a few teams in this draft that liked him over Robinson for the NFL.
Pick 10: Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia: Nolan Smith was often compared to Haason Reddick during the draft process, so is this too much of the same? Absolutely not. You can never have too many athletic freak pass rushers.
Pick 30: Trade out
Pick 10: Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia: Howie Roseman is a DL compiler. If the Eagles don’t trade, I hear Smith is their favorite.
Pick 30: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama: Been hearing Eagles are super high on Gibbs since early in the process.
Pick 10: Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech: This team has talent, so it can be patient if Wilson's foot isn't all the way back. He has the tools to be a dominant edge player for a long time. But some teams are concerned about his foot injury. I think the Eagles can take the risk.
Pick 30: Brian Branch, S, Alabama: The Eagles saw Chauncey Gardner-Johnson leave via free agency. Branch is the same type of player. He can do a lot of things, but I think he ultimately becomes a safety.
Pick 10: Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia: Maybe Philadelphia will zero in on another Georgia product in Carter if the defensive tackle is within reach. In this scenario, however, Howie Roseman brings another edge rusher into the fold with Smith, a savvy run stuffer who is still unlocking his full pass-rushing arsenal.
Pick 30: Brian Branch, S, Alabama: This remains a spot that looks ripe for a trade by Philadelphia. Still, in this scenario, the Eagles luck into one of the headiest, most reliable players in the entire draft. Branch could thrive patrolling the back end of the defense from on high, though he has shown to be most at home thus far in the slot.
• Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia: 6
• Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas: 2
• Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern: 2
• Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia: 1
• Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State: 1
• Myles Murphy, Edge, Clemson: 1
• Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech: 1
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